Wiercinski bests national champ in 3-meter

GVL / Mohamed Azuz
Sophomore Taylor Wiercinski

GVL / Mohamed Azuz Sophomore Taylor Wiercinski

Lucas Rains

Taylor Wiercinski is just a sophomore for the Grand Valley State University women’s diving team, but she has achieved so much in just two seasons.

Wiercinski’s most recent accomplishment might just be her most impressive.

The Laker standout broke the GVSU school record in the 3-meter dive against Wayne State University on Jan. 11 — beating the reigning national champion and first team All-American in the process.

It was a surreal moment.

“I was in shock,” she said. “It was actually kind of a relief. It was just amazing to have been able to break a school record.”

She has been competing at a high level since arriving at GVSU.

In addition to her school record, she has also performed well at the highest level of NCAA Division II diving.

Wiercinski placed fourth in the 3-meter dive at the 2013 NCAA Championships as a freshman, which is one of her most memorable achievements. She also finished sixth in the 1-meter dive.

Her performance earned her the status of an All-American.

The Walker, Mich., native is no stranger to racking up accolades.

She was named Team MVP, All-Conference, All-State, Academic All-State and All-American while at Kenowa Hills High School. She was also named a WBBL Burger King Scholar Athlete of the Week.

Much of her success is credited to a combination of hard work and the support of those around her.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” she said. “Everyone is so supportive, including the team, family and friends. It makes you want to (work) harder and do well for them.”

Head coach Andy Boyce said it comes down to her ability to focus on the little things.

“She pays a great attention to detail on her dives,” Boyce said. “Her hard work and dedication to the sport helps. She keeps getting better at adding new dives with a higher degree of difficulty.”

Wiercinski said she wants to challenge herself to become the best she can be, all while helping her team improve.

Her goals are set.

“Individually, I’m looking to increase the degree of difficulty on some of my dives,” she said. “At nationals, my goal is to finish in the top three in my events.”

The No. 9 Laker women figure to be one of the top teams at nationals this year, and her performance figures to be key.

The sophomore seems to be more focused on the team’s success.

“We want to qualify as a team for nationals so we can build the name for Grand Valley,” she said.

Boyce is hopeful she can place well at nationals but knows she will have her work cut out for her.

“The national champion for 1-meter and 3-meter is in our conference, so that makes things a little bit trickier,” Boyce said. “But (Taylor) actually beat her last week in both.”

Outside of diving, she is studying nursing and plans on going back to school to get a degree in anesthesiology.

It seems the future is very bright for Wiercinski, both in and out of the water.